FAQ about recreational use of marijuana in California

SAN DIEGO - Marijuana became legal for recreational use in California January 1 and immediately questions arose from enthusiasts, sellers and observers.

Ruthie Edelson, a marketing manager for Torrey Holistics dispensary, said most people want to find out where they can smoke marijuana. The answer is a private residence.

Where is the marijuana coming from?

“It’s coming from all different parts of California. Marijuana can’t cross state lines. We have a lot of farms we work with in Northern California Humboldt in the emerald triangle,” said Edelson.

What about law enforcement? The federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug. Local law enforcement will treat it similarly to alcohol.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Jim Bettencourt said tickets can also be given out for smoking marijuana in public.

“There are a lot of misconceptions. Marijuana is legal. Think of it, treat it like the same thing as alcohol. You can’t drive down the street with an open container of alcohol,” said Bettencourt.

Driving under the influence of marijuana can lead to a felony DUI. CHP officials said it will be up to officers to use their discretion due to the lack of a universal test for suspected cannabis influenced drivers.

“If we see those signs and symptoms, we’re going to evaluate that individual to see if they are not safe to drive. If that officer determines that individual is not safe to drive, we will take the appropriate enforcement action,” said Bettencourt.